Riley emerges as leader in first track season


Derriq Young

Senior Tyrique Riley competes in the 200 meter dash at the Barbers Hill Meet. He helped lead the 4×200 team to the Area Meet in his first track season.

Derriq Young and Aidan Oakes

Despite injuries, multiple relay complications and even losing his shoe during his final 200 meter race at the district meet, senior Tyrique Riley made the best of the challenges he faced during his first and last season of track.

Senior Tyrique Riley rounds the curve on the 200 meter dash. (Derriq Young)

Riley is the first leg in the 4×200 and 4×100 meter dash. Along with running the 200 meter race, Riley also participated in long and triple jump. But Riley didn’t always have a passion for running. It took some convincing from fellow runners and football/track coach James Showers to join the team. 

“He’s very talented,” Showers said. “It took him four years to figure it out, but he’s in the first leg because he’s the most dependable.”

Riley’s responsibility as the first leg means that it’s up to him to get things started for the team. First leg is usually given to the runner with the most leadership potential on the team.

“First leg is kinda like a quarterback on the football field, he’s the guy you trust with the baton to get that thing going,” Showers said.

Riley was a football player before he ran track. However, he decided to run track this year after overlooking it in previous years. He converted his focus and talent from the football field to the track.

“I feel good because I’m going out with a bang,” Riley said. “I’m feeling good about my last season.”

Above all, Showers and his teammates recognized the hard work and leadership Riley has brought to the team. Because he is one of the oldest and fastest runners on the team, Riley took it upon himself to help lead the way for those around him.

“He’s one of the only seniors that shows up everyday,” said Collin Fain, who runs the fourth leg of the 2×400. “He actually makes an impact on the team.”

Riley competed in the District Championships on April 12-14. He helped lead the 4×200 relay team to the area track meet. 

“At the end of the day a lot of the people on my relay team are younger than me,” Riley said. “So I have to show them like ‘Hey, we have to do this’ and ‘Hey, we have to do that.’ I’ve gained a little bit of leadership doing what we’ve been doing recently.”

At the district meet he was also successful in his jumping events, jumping 20 feet, 3 inches in long jump, securing a spot at the area meet. In the 200 meter dash, Riley didn’t do as well as planned though. After coming out of the blocks he began to feel his left shoe coming off, but that didn’t stop him from finishing the race with a decent time.

“It hurt me a little bit not being able to go to area for 200 because my shoe came off mid race,” Riley said. “That threw me off but I still have the relay.”

Riley has taken so much from this track season and plans on using it in his future endeavors. He says he doesn’t plan on running track in college so this track season will be his last. 

“I’m going to use the leadership skills I’ve gained from these little things and make them into bigger things.” Riley said.